5 Social Media Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2019
The world of Social Media is constantly changing, bringing new trends, ideas, and unspoken rules each year. In most cases, the changes aren’t sudden or unexpected, but rather gradual and relatively predictable – for example, who was really surprised to see Google + shut down?
Go through the expected Social Media trends of 2019. Some of them are already here, and growing slowly, but aren’t at full hype just yet. Some are big and booming, and expected to get even bigger in 2019.
Here are the most expected, and truth be told, exciting shifts of note:
Social Listening means (monitoring) is the act of crawling the web and social media platforms to find all mentions of a brand (or any other keywords). This includes untagged brand mentions on social media, mentions of industry keywords that signal the interest to buy a product, mentions on blogs, forums, and news sites. The current primary goals of social listening are customer service and reputation management, even though there are, of course, many others.
What is Social Media Listening?
Social Media Listening is the act of using a tool to monitor – or ‘listen to’ – what’s being said about a brand (or any other keyword or set of keywords) across the social web.
Imagine one day you wake up with a newly acquired super power, to hear everything people think about you. You know every thought, every opinion they have immediately. While for you that might be a nightmare scenario, for a brand it’s a dream.
To be aware of people’s opinions is the ultimate power – especially if whenever they express it you’re able to interact with them instantly.
Social Media Listening can help you:
- Improve your customer service
- Make a better product
- Find new clients
- Market your products through industry influencers
- Learn more about your clients
- Create targeted, high converting ads
- Keep an eye on your competition
Despite the name, most tools aren’t restricted to social media search only – for example, a tool like AWARIO enables you to monitor publicly available information not only on blogs, forums, news outlets and websites, as well as social platforms.
Some tools are more focused on gathering and analyzing data, others combine analysis with the engagement-oriented features so you can interact with people right from the platform – the one that’s best for you will come down to your desired approach.
How to Master Social Media Listening
The first step in effective Social Listening is identifying the right keywords and terms you need to stay on top of.
When you select which keywords to track, don’t just focus on your brand name. Here’s an incomplete list of the key elements you might want to monitor:
- Your competitors’ brand names, product names, and handles
- Industry buzzwords
- Your slogans and your competitors’ slogans
- Public people in your company and competitors’ companies
- Your #hashtags and your competitors’ #hashtags
- #Hashtags related to your industry
- Common misspellings and abbreviations for all of these.
Staying across these elements will ensure you remain aware of how people perceive the brand, what your competitor’s are doing and the current trends in your field.
Now let’s go deeper and find out how you can use Social Media Listening to grow your business.
1. Improve your Customer service
Top of Form
Bottom of Form
It’s not always an attempt to contact the brand itself, sometimes it’s just a rant or a side note in a post dedicated to something else, but through social media listening, you have the capability to discover these comments, and respond to them, improving your customer experience.
How to improve your customer service?
Keywords to track: brand name
You’ll find that most Social Media Listening tools now offer you sentiment analysis. This feature divides mentions into positive, negative and neutral.
To see if your customers are having troubles, set up the keywords mentioning your product or brand name and choose a filter to show you negative mentions first. That way you’ll be able to find unhappy customers and notice if there are any malfunctions or glitches in your product right away.
2. Make a better product
Business is ruled by demand – people put money into the things they want. This seems obvious, but for some reason, many companies are still ignoring the fastest, easiest way to find out what people want.
How to make a better product
Keywords to track: industry buzzwords, competitors’ brand names
Keep an eye on your industry by tracking relevant buzzwords. You’ll be able to get a better idea of what features people want, and this might provide you with inspiration for future launches.
Even if something is shared as a joke (which is a common case for the Internet) you may find it useful. Set up a spreadsheet to come back to these ideas when you’re brainstorming a new project.
Don’t forget to monitor your competitors’ brand names too – you may discover what people want from other companies, then you might be able to offer it to them with a new launch later.
3. Find new clients
Social media is one of the most efficient ways to market, with around 80% of consumers now reliant on social platforms to help guide purchasing decisions.
As a general rule, the more active you are on social, the more people you reach – but even if you’re posting every day, you’re still limited to your followers and their friends. However, there is a way to contact people who might be curious about your product – you guessed it, through Social Media Listening.
How to find new clients
Keywords to track: industry buzzwords
Even if you don’t have the resources to conduct comprehensive research like Hilton does, you can still use social media listening to find potential customers.
Get into the heads of your prospects and think of the keywords they may use when they ask for recommendations. Based on this, you can then use specific keywords and combinations in Boolean search mode to improve your results.
Boolean gives you a lot of options to customize your search process so you have a wide variety of queries.
Remember, not every new leader needs to become an instant sale – nobody likes being treated merely as an opportunity to make money.
Try creating meaningful interactions, respond to people’s questions and be helpful – that way you can create a positive image of your brand, which will help you stand out.
4. Market your products through industry influencers
Logically, people are far more likely to accept the advice of someone they trust – me that a friend, a family member, or these days, even a blogger whose content they like.
Marketing through the influencers is not a new thing, but it’s come a long way. Now you have a way to promote your product through channels that people actually know and interact within their day to day life. 90% of consumers trust peer recommendations, whilst only 33% trust ads, which makes influencer marketing one of the most efficient ways to sell.
So how do you find influencers that you want to work with?
Many social media listening tools now offer a social influencer feature – you can search the name of your brand to see who’s already interested in it and offer them an early trial or a free product, while you can also track buzzwords relevant to your industry and find people in your field who create relevant content and engage with others.
You can even see who’s working with your competitors and suggest they try out your products as well.
How to market your products through industry influencers
Keywords to track: brand name, industry buzzwords
To build a relationship with an influencer you need time and care – just like with real-life relationships.
For starters, get to know them – follow them on social media, read and watch their content, comment, share and like their posts. If they weren’t aware of you before, they’ll see you in their mentions, which will help build a more positive impression of your brand.
After that, you can reach out to them and offer a collaboration – guest material for their platform, a review of your product, a paid promotion or anything else that your marketing team can think of. But don’t just leave it at that – ensure you thank them for the attention and the consideration they’ve given to your product, and seek their feedback where possible.
5. Learn more about your clients
To satisfy your customers you need to know them first. Through customer research, you may find some unexpected ideas and inspiration for your marketing campaigns and future projects.
The traditional way to get customers’ feedback is to ask them through a survey or a questionnaire, which is not always ideal since few people like spending their time answering questions that are not directly related to them. Moreover, it’s practically impossible to get a completely unbiased opinion from a survey, and in the end you get few results which you can’t really rely on.
This is another way social media listening comes in handy – through social listening, you can get unbiased (or as unbiased as one can be) opinions of your customers without any effort from their side, and minimal effort from yours.
You can analyze large volumes of data and see specific opinions using your social media listening tool/s.
How to learn even more about your clients
Keywords to track: brand name
Look for trends in preferences and dislikes. You might be able to detect some not-so-obvious tendencies that your audience has, and use them to your advantage.
You might want to prioritize certain platforms, especially if your product is quite niche. With social media listening, you can see what media, networks and forums are popular within your industry.
6. Create targeted, high converting ads
What a beautiful world would it be if we could only see adverts for the things we like.
Targeted ads are the new black – every company is using them, and everyone else is talking about how ubiquitous and all-seeing they are. And although social media platforms offer more options to tailor ads to specific audiences, they’re still not perfect – and spending money on ads which don’t reach their intended audience is never a good business strategy.
For a beginner company, effective advertising is especially important – you can’t afford to invest your marketing budget into something that doesn’t pay off. Social media listening can help you to get your ads in front of the people who are most likely to buy.
How to create targeted, high converting Ads
Keywords to track: industry buzzwords
Use Social Media Listening tools to find appropriate audiences for your Advts.
7. Keep an eye on your competition
You can learn a lot from your competition – their success will tell you what works and their failures will help you to avoid making the same mistakes.
You’re probably already checking your competitors’ social media profiles to see what they’re up to – but through social media listening, you can get the access to a bigger picture.
How to keep an eye on your competition
Keywords to track: competitors’ brand names
Learn what people are saying about your rivals and their products. Set alerts for all your competitors’ Brands, their campaign Names/Themes, Slogans and #hashtags. And don’t just leave this information hanging – if you see an opportunity to engage, take it.
So now you see how social media listening can help you – from product development to customer service to marketing. I encourage you to dive into the world of social media listening and discover more ways to use it on your own.
Micro influencers are ‘normal’ people, so to speak. Most of the time, they have less than 10,000 followers.
A micro influencer will often ‘apply’ to become an influencer. Platforms such as Tribe and Takumi are communities of individuals who pride themselves on aesthetic social media accounts. These kinds of people usually have a good eye for photography.
How it works: Brands submit tailored briefs to these online influencer platforms for vetted and relevant influencers to respond to.
Macro influencers are famous, known by the many, a household name. These kinds of people are often celebrities who have followers in the region of tens of thousands or millions.
Macro influencers are often approached first hand by a brand – a business will ask them to feature their product or service on their social media profiles, with a contextual caption mentioning the brand.
By using macro influencers, a brand is positioned in front of millions of people. It’s great for visibility and awareness.
So, now you know the difference, let’s go through the pros and cons of both. These are important to know, especially if your brand only has time (and/or budget) for one.
The Pros of Micro Influencers
Micro influencers work in a similar way to word of mouth – when they share a photo on Instagram of them enjoying a nutri-bar snack after a workout, you don’t question it (even if their photos are sometimes a little staged).
It’s often easier to believe a micro influencer has actually bought or used a featured product. They tell you the nutri-bar is delicious and it’s high in protein, so you make a mental note of the brand.
This kind of authenticity attracts engagement, awareness and brand recall. So, the next time you go to buy a snack, you remember that extra yummy brand name you saw on Instagram.
Well, cheaper than macro influencers that is.
On average, a micro influencer costs per post on Instagram. But not all of the available influencer platforms give the brand rights to use the content thereafter.
Takumi, for example, gives the brand full rights to usage after the photo’s been posted. Other platforms, like Tribe, charge the brand an additional fee to keep and use the image in other forms of marketing.
A micro influencer campaign is easy to execute
Easy to use, free online platforms such as Takumi.com and Tribegroup.co enable in-house marketers to take the lead.
The Cons of Micro Influencers
Capped visibility and reach
Micro influencers obviously don’t have the vast followings of macro influencers, and with most influencer platforms setting a 10k follower limit, the visibility and reach of content is capped.
That isn’t to say this kind of content isn’t engaging – HubSpot reports that micro influencers, on average, receive 0.10% higher engagement rates than macro influencers.
Brands have less control over a micro influencers output
Often, the way influencer platforms work is that brands submit a brief stating what product needs to be featured, some information about the product and a general sense of how it should be represented. For example, an organic makeup brand might write a brief which explains why their product should never be shown in an environment of bold and brash colors or plastic materials. They may instead state all photographs must be taken in natural light, outdoors and must only feature neutral colors.
However, once this brief is written up, approved and sent to micro influencers via platforms such a Tribe and Takumi, that’s it. The power is out of the brand’s hands. They often have little control over outputs. A micro influencer is trusted to post a quality piece of content, without any form of sign off from the client.
In many cases, you put your trust in the quality of influencers recruited by an influencer platform and ‘get what you’re given’.
ROI is often hard to prove
Performing a micro influencer campaign can be great for getting your product in front of lots of different people – but while visibility, reach and engagement can all be easily measured and reported on, but it can be somewhat harder to directly attribute influencer engagement to direct sales.
This is because influencer posts are great for driving awareness, but not so much direct site traffic – especially as Instagram doesn’t allow links to be posted in captions.
The Pros of Macro Influencers
Brands have more control when running a macro influencer campaign
A brand can often choose the exact celebrity and give them precise instructions on what to post, meaning the outcome can be almost predicted.
This control also enables brands to build a stigma or reputation around their product – for example, a cast member of Made in Chelsea may support the ‘luxury’ representation of a product, whereas an Olympian may support strong, robust and professional connotations.
ROI in a macro influencer campaign is often easy to define
Well, easier to define than that of a micro-campaign, at least – this is because many brands will set up a unique offer code for a macro influencer campaign. The influencer will then post this along with their content.
This makes it easier to attribute sales to a precise post or macro campaign as brands can easily track how many times an offer code was used online.
The Cons of Macro Influencers
People don’t believe or trust macro influencers
Product placement is often obvious, and thus unauthentic.
People can see through a devised Instagram post and therefore trust the contentless. While this kind of marketing is great for reach and awareness, people often don’t trust that the influencer really uses the product.
Macro influencer campaigns are more expensive
Celebrities will also generally require much higher payment than micro influencers. Although their audiences might be bigger, and your content will, therefore, see much a higher reach, you may also be able to get a lot more out of lots of single posts with micro influencers, as opposed to one expensive macro influencer post.
Macro influencer campaigns are a little harder to execute
They’ll often take longer to organize, and may require a PR agency. Getting hold of a celebrity or their manager is one thing, but standing out amongst many other requests, is another.
Celebrities can also be picky with which brands they endorse, so showing them how your product will raise their profile and person brand is also important.
So, Which One Should You Go With?
Both macro and micro influencer campaigns have their pros and cons, but in most instances, Select a micro-campaign. Authenticity is so important – Millennials, in particular, crave it.
If you have the budget, I’d suggest trialing both a micro and macro influencer campaign, starting with micro to access a response. Report on which does better in order to develop your future strategy. Assess your KPIs and choose accordingly.
While using social listening for these two causes is expected to become even bigger, the real trend of 2019 is going to be using social media listening for lead generation and social selling. So far, only a small number of brands do this, yet that number is gradually rising as marketers discover that they can find people looking for the exact services they offer on social media.
Given that people sharing their frustrations, ideas, and recommendations online are not about to stop, social listening usage will continue to grow, and expand to include new possibilities.
Every year, video content continues to grow, and in 2019, video content is expected to once again dominate the market. In fact, according to some experts, 80% of what we consume online will soon be video content.
This is especially true for live videos. Having always been popular on YouTube, the trend has now taken over Facebook and Instagram, to the point when we get notified when someone is going live.
The authentic and ephemeral nature of live videos seems to make them especially attractive and meaningful to social media users. Live videos increase the perceived trustworthiness and relevance of a brand, and it’s a trend that you don’t want to ignore.
It should go without saying that you have to deliver engaging and exciting content, just as you would on a blog or anywhere else, but we’ll mention this anyway, just in case.
The main reason that videos have become more and more popular is that it’s getting easier to film, even on a rather good production level. But while your audience will be forgiving – it’s understood that live videos are spontaneous and things can go wrong – you definitely should seek to avoid annoying technical problems where possible.
In the past couple of years, social media influencers have become a major trend. We now have Instagram stars, Twitter influencers, YouTube millionaires. These people have millions of followers – their every post, or Blog, or tweet is instantly seen by more people than TV ad makers could ever hope for. It was grand and revolutionary when the power of social media influencers became clear to everyone – and it still is.
However, as the number of social media influencers has grown over time, prices for their services have also skyrocketed. That’s lead more businesses to look at other alternatives, including micro influencer marketing.
As opposed to major influencers, micro-influencers exist in every marketing niche. They have followings of fewer than 10 000 people, but most of their followers are genuinely interested in what they have to say. And they’re very engaged – micro-influencers are often considered experts in their niche.
These smaller names are not massively targeted by advertisers, so they are trustworthy and down-to-earth. The marketing potential is very high and marketers are about to recognize this in 2019.
Given the vast amount of information being uploaded by people each day, it’s become very easy to get insights into all kinds of information about the people sitting behind the screen. This has opened the door for enhanced personalization, and that, in turn, has increased consumer expectation for the same.
Content, products, emails – all of it can now be based on the consumer’s purchase history, clicked links, social media posts, and other behavior. Booking.com, for example, notifies you about deals in the locations you’ve been to, Netflix offers shows to watch based on your taste, Amazon and eBay show products similar to the ones you’ve bought before. And this is before you, even consider Google and Facebook – they know us inside and out, and use this information to make our experience personalized.
As much as 96% of marketers believe that personalization advances customer relationship. Customers might worry about vague privacy risks, but they still appreciate the suggested product they’ve been looking for, as well as the notification of the sale in their favorite shop.
Despite the concerns, personalization is clearly the way to go for marketers to boost campaign performance.
The almost immediate future of marketing is real-time communication. The social media trends in marketing are the 24/7 customer support, real-time social selling, chatbots, and constant monitoring for a potential social media crisis.
This is because social media never sleeps – customers continue to use your products, talk about them online, and buy new items at any given moment. This has been happening for a while, and finally, technology has caught up – we now have the tools to look for mentions of a brand in real time, tools that schedule content to be posted at any point, chatbots that offer immediate help.
In 2019, consumers will expect their Twitter complaint to be answered straight away, and won’t get surprised when you immediately comment on the “Does anyone know a good alternative to Trello?” with an offer of your product. It’s just the world we live in – no one has the time to wait. People want their problems solved and their needs met, now.
As a marketer, these trends to come into more significant effect, and to change our lives for the better. As always, 2019 will prove to be challenging as marketers seek to adapt, but new tools and options will enhance the consumer process, and provide new ways to connect and convert in real-time.